When a mayor’s chief of staff, played by comedian Spencer Hicks, is caught on an adultery website, his life spirals out of control in this scandalous comedy directed by Lance McDaniel. In this Q&A session, Lance talks about O, Brother.
Tell me a bit about yourself and your role with O, Brother!
Spencer Hicks and I came up with the story and brought on Melissa Scaramucci to help us write the screenplay. We had a six person crew and produced the film in six days. I was the director and producer, but worked with some great local filmmakers like Kenny Pitts and Rogelio Almeida to produce a couple of the more challenging days like individual short films. It was the most enjoyable shoot of my life.
How would you describe O, Brother! to people?
A rowdy, low budget comedy about a mayor’s chief of staff who is caught on an adultery website and loses his wife and job. His gay brother hides him at a drag bar, until he is whisked away by his ex-con best friend on an adventure through strip clubs, bachelor parties, cock fights and gang warehouses, where he will either die in a gun fight with a Mexican gang leader or reconcile with his brother and join his true love.
Why should one see it?
It’s tons of fun and made by an all local cast and crew. It pokes fun at a lot of cultural, religious, racial and sexual issues without taking itself too seriously.
What was the most challenging aspect you had in the production?
Shooting 20 pages a day for the first 5 days of principal production was insane. But, it also guaranteed that we all knew the type of film we were making. Every body came prepared and dressed to shoot. We would rehearse, shoot, discuss if we missed anything, and move on to the next scene 15-20 times a day. We never went over 12 hours a day.
What was the best part about filming in Oklahoma?
This film was only possible because we were a tight knit group of Oklahoma filmmakers that trusted each other and did not second guess anything. Everyone knew we were trying something different. And, we had tons of local short and feature filmmakers help out on different scenes to see how the whole process worked.
What were some particular scenes that were enjoyable to film?
The scenes at the Boom were the most fun for me. I grew up in Alva where Brett Young was five years older and the biggest star in the universe. Now he owns a dinner theater and drag show bar and writes and stars in plays year round. Working with Brett and Jeffrey Meek from Lyric was a dream come true.
What are your thoughts on the deadCENTER Film Festival?
“I am absolutely biased, but I think it is the greatest film festival ever.”I am absolutely biased, but I think it is the greatest film festival ever. My first deadCenter was in 2006 with a short film called The Gymnast. It was the first place that made me feel like a real filmmaker. So, I volunteered for five years in programming and special events, then joined in 2010 as Executive Director. Now as Artistic Director, I am one of four staff members and 400 volunteers doing whatever we can to bring exposure to filmmakers and film as an art form through our annual festival and year round outreach and education. We constantly look for ways to help filmmakers, like the deadCenter Distribution Forum. And, we work with a network of great film festivals across Oklahoma so local and visiting filmmakers have a wide range of options for premiering and screening their films in Oklahoma.
Read more Question and Answer sessions with other deadCENTER filmmakers, past and present, here.